Back to: Fourth Session of the Ad Hoc Committee
Summaries of the Fourth Session
Daily summary of discussion at the fourth session
24 August 2004
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UN Convention on the Human Rights of People with Disabilities
Ad Hoc Committee - Daily Summary
A service made possible by Disabled Peoples’ International (DPI), Handicap International (HI) and the International Service for Human Rights (ISHR),
with the financial support of the Governments of Mexico and New Zealand.
Volume 5, #2
August 24, 2004
Netherlands (on behalf of the EU) called for innovation and creativity in developing a strong and effective monitoring mechanism, reflecting the strengths of existing system while not replicating its weaknesses. Reviews of the existing treaty monitoring system are focusing on the need for improvement in the following areas 1) delays in submission of periodic reports; 2) delays in the consideration of reports, which on occasion necessitate updating of these reports; 3) extent of reporting obligations undertaken by some States and non-reporting by other States; 4) duplication of reporting requirements across treaty bodies; and 5) the need for more thematically focused reporting over the current pattern of broadly based and fixed-interval reporting. A number of principles should be followed, which the EU will submit to the Secretariat: monitoring is an obligation that all States Parties freely enter into when signing and ratifying; bodies should be composed of independent experts of high moral standing and include appropriate involvement by PWD; civil society’s role should be formalised; adequate support by the UN Secretariat is needed; the work of existing treaty bodies should be taken into account, particularly with a view to avoiding duplication and inconsistency; and consistency with the overall reform effort should be ensured. The body should accommodate constructive dialogue with and between States Parties. It should be empowered to request thematic reports as well as to examine periodic reports, request supplementary information and transmit comments and recommendations to the State Party concerned. Monitoring is a means to an end, namely, implementation, therefore implementation and follow up is an essential part of the monitoring process. The mechanism could offer expert advice and identify good practices to national level implementation mechanisms, and states’ reporting obligations should cover its efforts at implementation as well. Regarding Article 25 of the Draft Working Group text, paras 1 and 2 should be combined as proposed by the Working Group and replaced by a more general paragraph noting that the mechanism should be in compliance with the national, legal system. The EU also proposes a new para 2 on data and statistics and the deletion of the WG Draft Article 6 on the same topic; a new para 3, derived from WG Draft Article 4(2); a new para 4 derived from CRC Article 42 (Publicity of convention); a new para 5 derived from CRC Article 41 (Respect for existing human rights standards).
Bahrain stated that monitoring is essential and Article 25 represented the minimum. Monitoring should have two dimensions. The first is national and in each State this should be constituted by a working group of activists including PWD and DPOs, who can submit reports verifying the authenticity of States reports.
Jordan supported the EU’s proposals and highlighted the need for including PWD in a strong and effective monitoring mechanism.
Mali stressed that follow-up is essential for implementation and there should be stringent requirements so States will respond. In Mali for example there are two levels of follow up: Ministries at the sectoral level and a Council at the national level. The mechanism should link the sectoral to the national level, and the national to the international level. PWD must be represented at the sectoral level. Civil society and governments must work together and there should be a common report on follow-up and monitoring. It is risky when there are 2 reports, by the government and by NGOs. Reports should clustered together so that the country speaks with one voice.
The US shared concerns of the EU and other delegations on the need for consolidating and streamlining the work of existing treaty bodies and avoiding redundancy. Funding should be assessed to the States Parties. Without taking any position on the issue of having national and international monitoring bodies, the US stated its support for the EU‘s proposals on the first paragraphs of Draft Article 25.
Kenya supported the EU proposals. States should learn from past mistakes and any new institution should be an improvement on the existing ones, and include PWD and civil society.
The Chair opened the floor to NGOs, but none took the floor.
Albania supported the EU proposals, which along with the text of the WG provide a good basis on which to develop domestic legislation.
Malaysia supported an implementation mechanism with the caveat that its recommendations not be automatically binding – they should be sensitive to cultural differences keeping in mind the object and purpose of the convention is to promote enjoyment of rights of PWD from jurisdictions around the world.
Mali emphasized the importance of appropriate legislation and constitutional provisions at the national level, as well as a mechanism at the international level, to ensure implementation. It also suggested the establishment of focal points, perhaps regionally, that can link up mechanisms at both levels.
The Chair opened the floor to general comments related to the first reading
Republic of Korea called for making Article 6 on Statistics and Data Collection more succinct, removing unnecessary detail such as its provisions on privacy, focusing on procedural and methodological elements, and merging it into Article 25.
Trinidad and Tobago asserted the importance of monitoring at both the international and national levels to ensure that States fulfill their obligations. An international body should be composed of independent experts, have good representation of PWD, and observe the principle of equitable geographic representation.
Chile noted its intention to submit its written proposals to the Secretariat and asked for an opportunity to speak about them following the review of Articles 1-15.
Jamaica supported the inclusion of a monitoring mechanism at both international and national levels. Lessons learned of the new elements that need to be introduced to the mechanism monitoring the UN Standard Rules, and this mechanism’s relationship with any new system need to be clarified. There should be only one system addressing implementation of policies relating to PWD.
Sierra Leone noted that the Committee was at a crucial stage, with discussions still overwhelmed with documents and footnotes accumulating since January, and a need now to galvanize ideas and written text by removing overlaps and inconsistencies. While each delegation has a right to propose its own text, Sierra Leone has chosen a self- imposed moratorium, that it hopes will facilitate the Committee’s work.
Thailand suggested that moving amendments to the Draft Text to a separate document, rather than keeping them all in as brackets and parentheses, may make the documents less confusing to the visually impaired. It also commended the process for its openness and participation to all.
Venezuela supported national and international bodies set up for monitoring. Disability is not something new, but we are making history and it should be reflected in all bodies, not only the UN. PWD may have the best solutions to problems and should be involved in decisions. The attitude barrier is the greatest barrier to break down.
WBU (on behalf of the International Disability Caucus) thanked the Committee for the constructive, transparent and efficient process, which it hoped will continue. The Caucus has drafted an alternative text for the Committee during the last eleven weeks, the result of more than 700 emails. The Caucus would like to submit this amended text as it is generated, as it is a work in progress. The target group for the convention is 600 PWD around the world and there are DPOs reflecting that. Since ancient times, PWD have been excluded from decisions and this should not happen in a process that will affect our lives forever. It called on the Committee to “include us in the whole process.”
The Chair suspended the meeting for 30 minutes and resumed with the postponed discussion of the Organization of Work. He proposed the following to the Committee: The first week would be divided into two sessions. Formal plenary meetings, with the usual methods of work and participation of IGOs, NGOs and NHRIs, have now completed the first reading of Articles 1-15 and 24bis. The remaining three and a half days of this week will be an opportunity for the same participants to comment on the proposals made during this first reading. This will enable the Chair to gauge the level of support for proposals, identifying those generating widespread agreement or dissent. Formal plenary meetings would then be adjourned, and the Chair will invite a Coordinator to continue with informal consultations, operating under the following guidelines: the time devoted to each article and whether to cluster articles together is at the discretion of the Coordinator; IGOs, NGOs and national human rights institutions are invited to be present; on difficult issues the Coordinator may request individual facilitators to hold smaller informal meetings that in turn will operate under the same guidelines and report back on progress to the Coordinator; there will be no parallel meetings of smaller informals and main informals; closed meetings may be required; the Coordinator will report back on progress to the formal plenary on September 3, when the Committee must approve the Report of the Fourth Ad Hoc Committee. The Chair’s proposal on the above Organisation of Work was approved with the understanding that Articles 15bis –25 would be dealt with under the same procedure.
The Chair noted his intention to proceed by reaching consensus on articles already discussed, Article 1-15 and 24 bis. The convention should be precise without going into details more appropriate for national legislation. Overlap, repetition, similar terminology should be avoided and the discussion should be focused. Clarification, explanation and objectivity will be required.
PURPOSE: ARTICLE 1
The Chair referenced the Report of the Working Group, the Third Session, the many contributions made, and the many instances of repetition in this Article.
Chile [no interpretation taped]
China proposed the following draft language [no interpretation of commentary taped]: “The purpose of this convention should be to protect and promote all rights and dignity of persons with disabilities.”
Costa Rica proposed the following draft language [no interpretation of commentary taped]: “The purpose of this convention shall be to promote, protect and fulfill the full and equal enjoyment of all rights and freedoms of all persons with disabilities.”
Yemen [no English interpretation taped]
New Zealand suggested deleting the terms ”full” in front of “enjoyment” and “all” in front of “rights” so that the Article read: “The purpose of this convention shall be to ensure the full and effective enjoyment of all the rights of fundamental freedoms by persons with disabilities on n a basis of equality with others.” It is unnecessary to mention non-discrimination, as this concept will also be in Article 2 (General Principles) and Article 7 (Non-Discrimination). There is a virtue in keeping Article 1 succinct.
Mexico suggested: “The purpose of the present convention is to promote the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms and dignity of all persons.” It is important to make clear that the rights of PWD are the same as acknowledged in other international conventions. References to equality and non-discrimination should be addressed elsewhere as suggested by New Zealand.
Kenya called for three elements to be reflected. First, States are required to promote and protect human rights, but they are also importantly obliged to fulfill. In line with the proposal by Uganda, but with certain deletions, Article 1 should read: “The purpose of this convention shall be to promote, protect and fulfill the full, effective and equal enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms by persons with disabilities.” Kenya supports deleting “all” before “human rights.”
The Netherlands (EU) preferred to refer to the enjoyment of human rights rather than the promotion and protection of human rights. The EU has studied proposals, including that of Uganda, regarding promotion, protection and fulfillment, and noted precedents in other human rights conventions for language “ensuring the enjoyment of human rights”: Article 3 ICCPR, Article 3 ICESCR, Articles 1(4), 2(2) CERD as well as the Vienna Declaration, paras. 13 & 22. In addition merely “promoting the enjoyment” is weak, and “ensuring the enjoyment” is stronger. The EU is satisfied with the Working group formulation except to delete the superfluous term “effective.”
Morrocco called for 2 concepts to be reflected: the promotion and protection of full and equal enjoyment of human rights, and the elimination of discrimination. The Mexican proposal from this session and the Indian proposal at the previous session could be combined as follows: “The purpose of the present convention is to promote the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms and dignity of persons with disabilities and strive for the elimination of discrimination against persons with disabilities.”
Eritrea called for three elements to be reflected: protection and promotion; full enjoyment; and prevention of discrimination. It supported the Ugandan proposal with the addition of the term ”human” before rights.
Jamaica agreed on the short and succinct formulation of the Working Group but with the possibility of adding the term “promote”. Non-discrimination is important, but is subsumed under enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms and these issues are clearly expanded and elaborated in the rest of the Convention text.
Mali noted that the promotion and protection of rights are two separate elements - the rights of PWD cannot be protected partially and the enjoyment of rights is not done in halves. The object of this convention should be to “promote and protect” without making any distinctions as to race, gender, etc.
Venezuela supported the Mexican proposal, and proposed the following additional language to reflect PWD’s roles in developing these obligations: “…and the active participation of disabled persons, members of their families, and their associates.”
Liechtenstein stressed the purpose of this Article is not to define the legal obligations of States, which will be outlined in Article 4, but to be an extension of the Title and in this way of service to the reader. The Working Group draft is excellent. The term “ensure” is the highest level of abstraction that can be used, because “protecting” human rights is more negative and has less to do with positive obligations. “Promoting” human rights is something we tend to associate with progressive realization of rights. “Ensuring” on the other hand encompasses both terms and is therefore preferred. It is not necessary to reference non-discrimination as this is already encompassed in the current formulation.
Sierra Leone noted the common terms in all proposals - promotion, protection, and full enjoyment – are used in resolutions and declarations. “Ensuring” is a key term to be incorporated because it is action-oriented and requires States to do something. The rest of the Convention document will explain how the rights of PWD will be ensured and protected.
Canada preferred references to “promote and protect,” in particular because “promotion” applies to the positive, forward looking issues in the convention, but could accept the term “ensure.” The WG formulation is acceptable, as is the Ugandan proposal if the term “and fulfill” is deleted as suggested by Costa Rica and there is a grammatical change from “of all persons” to “by all persons”. Non-discrimination is already encompassed in the language and elaborated in a separate article. Canada opposes the Venezuelan proposal to adding the reference to “members of families”, as this convention is about PWD.
Guatemala supported the Mexican proposal adding “promote and protect.”
Thailand agreed with referencing “ensure, protect and promote,” but noted that non-discrimination is already covered in the current formulation’s reference to human rights.
Norway supported the WG formulation, and the term “ensure” as it encompasses most of the other variations that have been proposed. As Liechtenstein noted, Article 1 should be short and succinct and without an explicit reference to non-discrimination as this is already encompassed in the current formulation.
India was of the view that although “equal” subsumed non-discrimination, this should be explicitly referenced as it is one of the most important concepts in the convention.
Serbia Montenegro agreed with those delegations satisfied with the Working Group text and who approached the article as a succinct extension of the Title. “Ensure” is preferred, but “promote and protect” are also acceptable to reach consensus. Non-discrimination is important but addressed more precisely elsewhere in the convention.
Bahrain asserted that “ensure” emphasizes positive action and should be included. This convention is about PWD so there is no need to add references to families.
Lebanon shared other delegations views that the WG text should be retained.
South Africa called for a brief Article and endorsed the WG’s formulation.
Trinidad and Tobago suggested a slight redrafting of the Ugandan proposal which combines almost all of the elements suggested by various delegations: “The purpose of this convention shall be to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment without discrimination of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all PWD.”
PWDA generally supported the WG formulation but encouraged the incorporation of the concept of dignity, as the recognition of rights alone will not necessarily ensure that PWD are treated with dignity.
South African Human Rights Commission supported a short and succinct article that unambiguously articulates the purpose of the convention. It shared the EU’s support for the term “ensure” but suggested adding “protect and promote” before it.
EDF (on behalf of International Disability Caucus) supported including the term “ensure” as well as “protect and promote” because these terms identified the means by which the final objective could be reached. The term “effective enjoyment” must be retained. Reference to “all PWD” is important to ensure that all PWD are covered. Non-discrimination is more appropriately addressed in the article on Principles.
DPI emphasized that this Article should be concise and consistent with other human rights conventions. It shared delegations’ views that the overall purpose of the convention must be to ensure the effective enjoyment of human rights by PWD. It supported the comments by the EU in its briefing to NGOs underscoring the need to create conditions leading to the effective enjoyment of human rights. Therefore, the concept of effective enjoyment is important.
Sierra Leone withdrew its own proposal and substituted it with the Ugandan proposal with the following addition: “The purpose of the present convention is to ensure the protection, promotion, full and effective enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all PWD.”
The Chair noted substantial agreement with the WG text with a few minor amendments, a lack of support for a specific reference to nondiscrimination, and accordingly proposed the following synthesized text for consideration: “The purpose of this convention shall be to promote, protect and ensure the full enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms of PWD, their dignity and participation as members of society.”
PRINCIPLES: ARTICLE 2
Chile was in agreement with Article 2(a)’s references to dignity, personal autonomy and freedom to make one’s own decisions, but suggested the usefulness of the term “self determination” instead. It supported the Costa Rican proposal to reference “an independent life” and “personal development” in all phases of life in Article 2(a). Article 2(d)’s reference to the acceptance of disability could be better formulated as the acceptance of diversity as part of the human condition, reflecting the principle of inclusion. The Mexican proposal on international cooperation should be incorporated, as should their proposal to reference equality between men and women. Corrective measures or socially minded approaches to medical care are not founding principles, but could be placed elsewhere in the convention. A principle that standardizes and informs this article is acknowledgement of the diverse rights that PWD have and that are made effective through this convention.
Japan enquired whether principles are legally binding or merely guiding principles. It referenced its submission from the previous session, of language derived from Article 4 of the Climate Change Convention.
Mexico submitted (at www.un.org/esa/socdev/enable/rights/ahc4mexico.htm) an alternative text to the Secretariat. The Principles will guide the interpretation of the convention in line with the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties in the future as well. Concepts such as progressive realization must be addressed in other articles.
Costa Rica reiterated linguistic problems in the draft texts in Spanish and requested that problems of translation be resolved. This article should reflect the issues that will guide the remainder of the text. In Article 2(d) a period must appear after human diversity. Disability is part of human diversity and must be understood as such. As called for by Canada and others there should be a reference to equality between men and women, and as called for by Mexico there should be a reference to the gender perspective as a general principle.
The Netherlands (EU) supported a short article on general principles. Many additions were proposed in the Third Session and it now looks more like a shopping list or index. Many proposals are not principles, but measures regarding implementation or topics which may be important but do not have a place in Article 2. Most proposals made do not need to be included, but the EU does support an additional reference to gender equality.
New Zealand called for a more timeless, succinct and powerful expression of principles. The convention should not go out of date or be stuck in the era of the International Covenants, yet some of the terms currently in use may well become old fashioned. Furthermore many ideas put forward in this and the Third Session do not seem to be principles. For example, the progressive realization of economic, social and cultural rights belongs in Article 4 and international cooperation is a means to implementation. The second principle should be equality of opportunity, including non-discrimination, reasonable accommodation and a barrier-free environment. New Zealand agreed with the EU on referencing gender equality.
The Republic of Korea proposed referencing the need for close consultation and involvement of PWD and their self-representation, as this issue is reflected throughout the convention.
Eritrea called for the concept of prevention to be included so that the article also covers situations that cause disability, such as landmines.
Thailand supported the WG text for Article 2 provided it also included the re-insertion of the term “self determination” or “individual self-determination”, and the Korean proposal regarding self-representation.
Canada supported the WG draft language with an addition referencing equality between men and women. Other proposed additions are already and more appropriately addressed elsewhere, or are measures rather than principles. Para (c) should be reformulated as per the EU proposal, and in para (e) “substantive equality” should be added after “equality of opportunity” because equality of opportunity should not be interpreted as sameness of treatment. The concept of substantive equality has been developed in a number of domestic systems including Canada’s, which recognizes that PWD may require different treatment, namely accommodation of their needs and circumstances and thus positive action by States in order to enjoy the same opportunities as others. Canada supports the EU proposal on 2(bis), but with language more faithful to Article 2 of ICCPR, and more appropriately placed under Article 4 (General Obligations).
India supported Mali, Sudan, Eritrea and Jordan on the inclusion of international cooperation, as well as Canada, Costa Rica and Norway on the inclusion of gender equity, and Mexico on the inclusion of references to a barrier-free environment.
The US supported the thrust of the EU, New Zealand and Canadian proposals, towards a set of succinct and compelling principles that should underlie UN human rights instruments, such as non-discrimination, equality under the law, equal opportunity and equal access. The US supports the WG text’s five basic principles, as well as the proposal for para (c) made originally by the EU, supported by Mexico and Costa Rica and additionally supported at this session by Canada.
Liechtenstein called for guiding principles that will apply to all the substantive provisions in the Convention. It can agree with a reference to the essence of human rights as proposed by Mexico in para (a), as well as non-discrimination, equality of opportunity, full inclusion, and gender equality. This Article should not include notions that are really purposes or ways and means of achieving certain goals.
Serbia Montenegro generally supported the WG text and specifically also supported the proposal of the EU, Mexico and Costa Rica for (c), the proposal of New Zealand in (b) that non-discrimination be added to the principles of equality of opportunity and reasonable accommodation, and the proposal of Canada, Costa Rica and Norway to include gender equality. Other proposed additions from the Third Session, of the concept of a barrier-free environment as proposed by Japan or accessibility as proposed by South Africa and Thailand are acceptable provided there is consensus. Para 2(bis) as proposed by India, Mexico and Thailand, while important is more appropriately placed in Article 4.
South Africa likewise supported Article 2(bis) provided that this is moved to Article 4, and also supported the inclusion of concepts of international cooperation and gender equality. Without having fully read the new Mexican proposal yet, it seems that it captures South Africa’s views; however it lacks some elements found in the WG text, and therefore the two formulations should reintegrated.
Sierra Leone stressed the need for looking at the convention as a whole to ensure that the principles are reflected in it. In Article 5, there is a reference to respect and inclusion, which is related to dignity. Article 7 references equality and non-discrimination, Article 9 references equality under the law, Article 10 references liberty and security of the person, Article 14 references respect for difference, Article 15 references independence and autonomy, or self determination, Article 18 references participation, Articles 19 and 20 references accessibility and personal mobility. These are all principles that should be reflected in Article 2. Gender equality, if included in Article 2, must be reflected in the convention. International cooperation should be in Article 2 because consensus is emerging for its coverage in the convention, especially in implementation. The Mexican proposal in 2(a) referencing the universality, indivisibility and interdependence of all human rights, should be the first general principle. The other principles to be included are those that are reflected in the convention as a whole.
China noted that general principles are to be relied upon in implementing the convention, and they should be more abstract rather than concrete. Mexico’s proposed additions to the WG text, on gender equality and international cooperation, should be incorporated with some minor changes. Para (b) is specific and so should follow paras (c) and (d). Language in 2(bis) should be retained, but is more appropriate in Article 4.
Yemen supported the addition of “respect” before “dignity.” International cooperation does not belong in Article 2 as it is an implementation measure. Gender equality should be included, as some delegations proposed. More attention should be paid to all types of disabilities, to each disability individually, and not only those with serious disabilities, as this discriminates among different types of disability. Accessibility should not be included as a general principle, but rather in the appropriate articles.
Cuba supported para (a) of the Mexican proposal and suggested amendments to it as follows: para (h) should reference equality or equity between men and women and para (i) should refer to “the general principle of international cooperation.”
Morocco was satisfied with the Mexican proposal in particular para (a), as the proposal takes into account both the WG text and comments made in AHC3. It proposed the following amendments to the WG text: para (c) should be amended in line with the EU proposal; and gender equality and international cooperation should be included.
Australia called for a statement of principles that is clear and succinct. The WG text is a good starting point, and can be amended to incorporate the EU proposal for para (c); the New Zealand proposal to combine the overlapping concepts of equality of opportunity and non-discrimination; and the shifting of 2(bis) to Article 4.
Venezuela welcomed the Mexican proposal and called for inclusion of international cooperation and gender equality.
Namibia associated itself with the Mexican proposal, called for the inclusion if international cooperation, and proposed to add, in line with the Korean proposal, the concept of self-representation.
Thailand reaffirmed its earlier proposal to include “accessibility” as a general principle. Accessibility is fundamental, disability-specific, is not in any other human rights instrument, and should be embraced as such. The concept of universal design could however be incorporated in other articles. The term “disability-inclusive international cooperation” also should be recognized. Thailand agrees with Mexico, Norway, Canada, and Costa Rica on gender equality.
Jordan reiterated its position on maintaining the references to international cooperation, self-determination and empowerment of PWD. and also called for inclusion of gender equality.
Bangladesh shared the view of many delegations of the need to reference international cooperation and equality between men and women. As equality applies to men and women, boys and girls, and older men and women with disabilities, the term “equality between PWD in respect of gender” should be utilized to ensure that all PWD of all age groups are taken into account.
Lebanon stressed the purpose of Article 2 is to outline general principles and mechanisms that will help in the application of the provisions contained in other articles, such as international cooperation. Further additions to the WG draft are unnecessary.
Norway highlighted a lack of clarity in the elaboration of general principles. These are meant to be goals, like gender equality, and not the means to achieve them, as several proposals from AHC3 like international cooperation, indicated. International cooperation may be included in other articles, but is not appropriate in Article 2. Article 2bis should be retained but placed elsewhere.
Kenya suggested that the reference to “gender equality” be changed to “gender equity” as this latter term better reflected the notion of fairness.
Canada preferred the reference to “autonomy”, the compromise found by the WG, over “self-determination” which has a specific meaning and would lead to confusion and mis-understanding. It appreciates the strong support for the Canadian proposal to add gender equality, and opposes the suggestion by Kenya that “gender equity” be substituted instead, as this would role back achievement in human rights.
Trinidad and Tobago supported many of the general principles in the WG text as well as the addition of international cooperation and gender equality.
Republic of Korea expressed concern at the proposed amendments noting that this article should contain crosscutting ideas with which States can review the achievements of the convention. International cooperation is an implementation measure and should therefore be in another article and a reference to gender equality should be included.
Chile suggested that the term “self-determination” could be clarified if understood to mean “personal self-determination.”
Jamaica revisited the consensus of the WG on the purpose of Article 2 - to contain the fundamental principles that should guide the development of the convention. In its formulation, a distinction should be drawn between mechanisms for achieving the goals of the Convention and the goals themselves.
Tanzania supported all delegations calling for the inclusion of international cooperation.
South Africa Human Rights Commission (for National Human Rights Institutions) proposed the insertion of “respect for human” before the term “dignity” in para (a). In para (c), the formulation in the Mexican proposal’s para (d) is preferred as a more active expression of the principle of participation and inclusion. Para (d) should be amended to read “respect for human diversity” which is more universal than “respect for difference” and the reference to “acceptance of disability” should be amended to read “recognition of disability.” Para (e) should be moved up in the hierarchy of principles, and the principles of reasonable accommodation and gender equality should be added.
Special Rapporteur on Disability proposed, given differing views on international cooperation, that “the principle of international responsibility” be substituted instead in Article 2.
EDF (on behalf of International Disability Caucus) generally supported the WG text on Article 2. It supports the addition of gender equality. Though noting the concerns of Canada, the concept self-determination is preferred over autonomy. It supports the proposal of the National Human Rights Institutions to substitute “respect for human dignity” in Article 2(a). The Korean proposal to include the concept of self-representation is interesting and should be explored further. The proposals addinga barrier-free environment, reasonable accommodation and accessibility are good ideas that should also be explored further. The Caucus welcomes the replacement of para (c) with the Mexican proposal’s para (d). The strengthening of the principle of equality of opportunity will be explored further. The Caucus is not inclined to support the inclusion of international cooperation in Article 2 preferring its inclusion in a separate article and a reference in the Preamble.
DPI supported the principles as formulated in the WG text, as they respect the spirit and philosophy of the convention. It also supports the EU proposal to use the term “participation” in para (c), as this will enshrine in the convention the motto of the international disability movement, “nothing about us without us.”
Save the Children Alliance as a child rights organization expressed appreciation for the WG text. It underscored the importance of positive action and extending the concept of gender equality into “diversity equality.”
The Chair expressed his intention to work on the proposals for Article 2 for resubmission to the Committee tomorrow. As Article 3 on Definitions has already been discussed, on August 23, the floor was opened for consideration of Article 4.
GENERAL OBLIGATIONS - ARTICLE 4
India sought clarification on the Organization of Work. During discussion of Article 1 there were two or three proposals submitted but only one was projected on the screen for viewing. India enquired whether this procedure will be followed during informals, and whether alternative proposals that also received support be considered as well.
The Chair explained that the objective was to synthesize the discussion and that this procedure does not preclude other proposals and does not in any way limit governmental discussion.
Senegal expressed the intent of the African Group to submit proposals in relation to Article 4 reflecting the concerns of African countries. The WG text as currently formulated is not far from what it would support.
The Russian Federation called for deleting the first sentence of Article 2bis, as there is no need to include it at this point in the convention. States will be required to take on obligations to implement the convention. Measures to harmonize domestic legislation with the convention are logical and necessary.
Chile proposed new language for a separate paragraph on the budgetary allocation of resources citing the importance of this issue.
Canada stressed the importance of Article 4 as a guide for States on the nature and implementation of their legal obligations and called for a streamlined Article reflecting the WG text. This is the appropriate place to include reference to the progressive nature of rights, similar to Article 2(1) of ICESCR. The EU’s Article 2(bis) should be inserted into 4(3), with one important modification to bring it into closer alignment with Article 2(1) of ICESCR, an element of which was included in an earlier Israeli proposal. After the phrase “available resources” the phrase should be added “with a view to achieving progressively the full realization of such rights.” Canada no longer insists on removing the phrase “within their jurisdiction” in 4(1).
The Netherlands (EU) withdrew the EU’s previous proposal to merge Articles 4, 5 and 7 into a separate Article 3bis but in general maintains its position on language. The EU accepts separate Article 4. It withdraws its amendment to 4(1)(c) given feedback in particular from NGOs that the wording “and not treated separately” might create a false impression that the EU is against specific disability programmes or policies. The EU welcomes broad support for its proposal for Article 2bis and accepts suggestions that it be incorporated into 4(2) with the second line changed so that “means” is replaced by “measures” as proposed by Argentina and in line with CRC. The EU opposes the Russian Federation proposal to delete the first part of Article 2bis as this language is used in CRC and should be retained.
Japan reiterated its proposals from AHC3: to add the phrase “to respect and ensure the rights set forth in the present convention and to adopt…” in 4(1); to add “appropriate” before “legislative, administrative and other measures…” in 4(1)(a) because not all legislative or other measures will need to be adopted to give effect to the Convention; and to add a new para 4(1)(g) “To provide conditions and environments under which PWD may live in a self-sustained manner…”
Thailand reiterated its AHC3 proposal for 4(1)(c), substituting the term “mainstream” with “integrate.” The term “universal design” should be used in 4(f) instead of “universally designed.” The provision on remedies omitted from the WG text, as discussed in Footnote 18, should be reinserted in 4(2) along the lines of the Bangkok draft. Progressive realization needs to be included but does not always apply. There are many cases where economic, social and cultural rights do not imply the use of resources that are not available, and these rights should be implemented immediately. Only in some cases should ESC rights be subject to progressive realization.
Costa Rica supported the Argentinean proposal on the progressive realization of economic, social and cultural rights. It pointed out that its proposed deletion of references to national constitutions Article 4 is not reflected in the Secretariat’s text. The WG text in 4(1)(d) and (e) should be retained. It supports New Zealand’s proposal for 4(1)(f) and the Japanese proposal for 4(1)(g).
The Chair adjourned the session.
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